Tuesday, November 21, 2017

God's sure word

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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Isaiah 21:1-17

TO CHEW ON: “…for the LORD God of Israel has spoken it.” Isaiah 21:17

Isaiah 21 is part of a longer section of the book which is concerned with international events. In our reading we see the downfall of Babylon (Isaiah 21:1-10), Edom or Dumah (Isaiah 21:11,12), and Arabia (Isaiah 21:13-17).

I’m not sure how much of Isaiah 21 was written after the fact and what was prophetic. My Bible’s notes explain distress at seeing Babylon fall: “Here news arrives in Jerusalem of Babylon’s 703 B.C. defeat by Sennacherib of Assyria. This terrorizes Jerusalem who fears she is next …Isaiah’s emotional response identified with Jerusalem’s at the thought of what Babylon’s fall might mean” - Nathaniel M. Van Cleave, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 896.

Some life observations and applications we can take from this chapter (emphases added):
  • Like Isaiah did, we who believe in and acknowledge God and His sovereignty will experience our nation’s fate like every other citizen.
  • No matter how prepared we are, international events that have implications for us are traumatic and can be deeply troubling. Isaiah was not blasé about the fate of his nation:
“Therefore my loins are filled with pain;
Pangs have taken hold of me, like the pangs of a woman in labor.
I was distressed when I heard it;
I was dismayed when I saw it.
My heart wavered, fearfulness frightened me;
The night for which I longed He turned into fear for me” - Isaiah 21:3,4.

  • God’s words and promises are dependable: “For the LORD God of Israel has spoken it,” declared Isaiah, before Arabia ever fell (Isaiah 21:17).
Other prophets asserted this too:

“For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place” - Jeremiah 29:10.
"'For I am the Lord. I speak, and the word which I speak will come to pass; it will no more be postponed; for in your days, O rebellious house, I will say the word and perform it,' says the Lord God.” - Ezekiel 12:25.

"And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster; for under the whole heaven such has never been done as what has been done to Jerusalem.” - Daniel 9:12.

So did Jesus:
 "'For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled'" - Matthew 5:18
"'Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away'" - Luke 21:33

We too live in the context of international conflict and uncertainty. Let’s familiarize ourselves with the words and promises of God, and build our lives on their firm foundation.

: Dear Father, please help me find and apply the Bible promises on which I can build my life, no matter what is going on in current events around me. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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